Preparing for a media interview involves more than simply saying you'll do it. In fact, you may not really know whether it's a good idea unless you get some answers. Here are a few suggested questions to consider when a reporter calls.
What do you know about the reporter?
Have you dealt with him or her before? Do you know what kind of stories he or she has written?
What do you know about the topic?
Has the reporter explained why they want to interview you? Have they made it clear what they're looking for? Is the story about you or will your comments be part of a larger story?
When you do your job well, it will help the reporter tell a better story.
What do you know about the interview?
Is it on camera? Is it in-person or on the phone? Will it be on-air or for print? Knowing the type of interview will help you prepare for everything from what you wear to what you'll say.
What do you know about what the reporter wants? Has he or she provided any guidance when it comes to questions? Are you able to do a little research ahead of time so that you're prepared with more details?
What can you do to help them make the reporter look good?
This might sound a bit odd at first glance, but consider that when you do your job well, it will help the reporter tell a better story. Your information and sound bites could be what turns a mediocre story into something more compelling.
So, don't rush into any interview just to get it over. If you treat each interview as a way to extend your brand and your influence rather than a simple conversation, your chances of having a successful outcome go up dramatically.
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